A new Melbourne-based fund manager has secured its first institutional mandate since setting up shop three months ago.

The fledgling manager L1 Capital started investing $50 million in Australian equities for an institutional client last week. The mandate is the first for L1. The new fund will invest in the top 200 Australian equities without any particular investment bias, according to L1 joint managing director Mark Landau. “We don’t think of ourselves in growth or value terms,” Landau said, referring to the two typical camps for stockpicking. “We look across the whole spectrum of stocks. We’ll consider investing in turnarounds, high quality stocks or anywhere we think we can find attractive investment opportunities.” Landau preferred not to name the client at this stage. Landau left his job as investment manager at mid-tier firm Invesco three months ago and joined with former Cooper Investors portfolio manager Rafi Lamm, now joint managing director, to establish L1. L1 is slated to open a trust in a fortnight for wealthy investors with a minimum initial investment of $500,000. Landau and Lamm will also invest their own money in the trust, which is important to them both, Landau said. “By putting our money in the trust we’re further aligning our own interests with our clients,” he said. The investment strategy for the trust is identical to the Australian equities fund. Landau left Invesco not long after the exit of Australian equity managers Rohan Walsh and Luke Sinclair. Walsh and Sinclair also departed to start a new boutique manager, Karara Capital. Invesco is now managing $120 million in large cap Australian equities, down from the $2.5 billion it had prior to the managers’ departures.

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